PREGAME: Both the Tigers and Red Sox spent yesterday thumping their opponents. The Sox are coming off a sweep of the Devil Rays and carry a 4 game winning streak into tonight’s tilt.
The Tigers managed to take only 1 of the 4 games the two teams played in Boston, and will hope to head into the All Star Break by winning back to back series.
Tonight will feature Andrew Miller taking on Julian Tavarez. The Tigers were handled by Tavarez who had been struggling at the time when the two team met up in May. In his last 7 starts Tavarez has posted a 3.48 ERA with a decent walk rate but pedestrian K-rate. He hasn’t allowed a homer in his last 4 starts.
The Tigers will send out Andrew Miller. Miller was knocked around in his last start, but showed a little more than that. He mixed in more off speed pitches and induced some swings and misses. In the end though, 6 of the 8 baserunners he allowed crossed the plate.
The only lineup note I know at the moment is that Mike Rabelo will start in lieu of Pudge Rodriguez. Not sure who will be starting in left field tonight: it will be Marcus Thames. And as a final note, Vance Wilson was transferred to the 60 day DL to make room for Ryan Raburn.
Game Time 7:05pm
POSTGAME: I’ve been critical of the Tigers decision to keep Andrew Miller in the rotation because I’ve felt that he needed more time to develop his secondary pitches. I wanted him to explode on the scene like Justin Verlander did last year and be dominating. Tonight is a glimpse of what I was hoping for. This was by far his best start as he shut down an offense that is good even without Big Papi. He used his breaking pitches and change to fan Manny Ramirez a couple times which was probably the most impressive part.
If he can pitch that well, or even close to that well on a consistent basis I’ll be more than happy to be wrong.
The other big performer was Marcus Thames who hit 3 balls far enough to be homers, but only one of them was the right direction. Fortunately it was the one with the bases loaded as Thames was the 5th different Tiger to hit a slam this year.
- How about Placido Polanco running hard on a pop-up with 2 outs in the 8th inning of a 7 run game and legging out a double?
- The Tigers looked miserable the first time through the order with only one ball making it to the outfield. But the next couple times the Tigers were ripping the ball all over the park.
- Miller did get some help with a remarkable throw from Granderson and tag by Rabelo. He kept the throw low, but it never bounced and Rabelo was able to catch it clean.
- I don’t mind Gene Lamont sending Mike Rabelo on the play he was thrown out on. I think that Lamont has really been a little too conservative this year and in those 2 out situations I’m in the camp of making the other team make the play.